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Spiritual Grounding, Prayer and Action for Election Week

God is our refuge and our strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
 though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    she utters her voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations she has brought on the earth.
She makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    she breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    she burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.
- Psalm 46, adapted
Beloved,

Election Day is upon us. And God is with us. Even now, God is in the midst of this city, and every city, town and rural community as we await the results together. As we have been doing throughout this troubling time, it's time again to return to God, to return ever more deeply, to God, our refuge and strength.

We are anxious and we are hopeful for change.
We are stressed and we are relieved that the day is finally here.
We are tired and we are fired up to do whatever we can. 

The words of the psalmist resound through the ages: God is a very present help in trouble. Though there is grave reason for concern, scripture tells us, fear not! Be still and know that I am God!

Friends, though we are physically apart, know that you are not alone today.  
We have each other. We have God, and God has us. As was noticed by one of you in a neighbor’s Cambridge window last week, "together, we will see it through!”

We offer Psalm 46 above and this Celtic Prayer to offer some grounding throughout the day and evening ahead. If they help, keep them near and repeat them often, today, tonight,  and in the days ahead. Together, we will see it through!

This is another day, O Lord.  I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.  If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.  If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.  If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.  And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.  Make these words more than words; give me the Spirit of Jesus.  Amen.   

 
- from Celtic Daily Prayer: Farther Up and Farther In
In Faith, Hope and Love,

Dan Smith, First Church Staff, and Lay Leaders

Below, please find a listing of opportunities for
prayer, witness and connection within and beyond First Church.  

MOBILIZING TO PROTECT THE RESULTS

If there are irregularities following the election, plans are forming across the country and here in greater Boston for mass mobilization to insist that every vote be counted and that the results are protected. 

Mass Peace Action and Indivisible Massachusetts are sponsoring a "Protect the Results" rally at the State House in Boston at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4. This rally will be held only if necessary. If you are wish to respond by gathering in this way, please sign up here to receive updated information.

A group of parishioners at Old Cambridge Baptist Church that has worked on election justice concerns for the past few months are organizing an interfaith vigil on the Cambridge Common, also at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4. This rally is for those who would otherwise join the action in downtown Boston, but feel hesitant due to the potential size of the crowds. Please check their Facebook event page for updated information.

PRAYING TOGETHER FOR OUR ELECTION

 As our nation anticipates this momentous election, we offer several times to come together to share our hearts, our hopes, our fears, and our prayers. First Church staff and lay leaders will be hosting prayers calls over zoom to help center us, settle us, and ground us in God’s presence and love. We know that many of us are working as hard as we can in voter turnout and other civic engagement efforts to ensure a just election in which every vote counts. We hope this will be a time that offers us grace and courage “for the facing of this hour.” The 30-minute calls will be held today  at 4:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at noon through election week.

 Tuesday 4:30 p.m. Prayer Call       (Meeting ID: 874 7316 7735  Passcode: election)

 Wednesday noon Prayer Call        (Meeting ID: 895 5332 7974  Passcode: election)

 
GBIO POST-ELECTION GATHERING

Thursday, November 5, 7:00 p.m., via Zoom 
The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) invites First Church members to a post-election virtual gathering. This will be a place for us to be together in relationship with one another across faith and neighborhoods. It is a chance for us to affirm the deep and enduring truths that are drawn from all our traditions — that democracy is sacred and that every one of us is a child of God who deserves a society that upholds justice and dignity. We’ll hear brief reflections from our diverse faith traditions and have the opportunity to connect with one another in small group conversations. Register in advance for this meeting by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information for joining.

 

 

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